An addiction could be defined as a pleasure that has gone wrong. The addict will start an activity to relieve discomfort. However, this pleasure that we have obtained will turn into a real obsession that will make you lose control, cause suffering for the individual or his entourage with the impossibility of stopping the activity that has become addiction, even if the addicted person wishes.
At the physiological level, all addictions (with or without products) use the same mechanisms of the brain. These are the neural pathways involved in managing pleasure and emotions, and all the things we can become addicted to potentiate the paths of motivation and push us to satisfy our pleasure before everything else.
How do you know if you’re addicted?
A famous psychiatrist established that to consider a person addicted to something, these four main characteristics must be fulfilled:
- Inability to resist the impulse to engage in behavior
- Increasing tension before initiating behavior
- Pleasure or relief at the time of action
- Loss of control over behavior
In addition to these four main characteristics, a list of nine secondary criteria was established. To be considered an addict, you must meet at least five of the following nine criteria.
- Frequent concern about behavior or its preparation
- Intensity and duration of episodes are larger than originally desired
- Repeated attempts to reduce, control, or abandon behavior
- Significant time spent preparing, undertaking or recovering from episodes
- Frequent occurrence of episodes when the subject must fulfill professional, school or university, family or social obligations
- Major social, professional or recreational activities are sacrificed as a result of behavior.
- Perpetuation of the behavior, although the subject knows that it causes or aggravates a persistent or recurrent social, financial, psychological or psychological problem
- Marked tolerance: need to increase the intensity or frequency to achieve the desired effect, or decrease in the effect provided by behavior of the same intensity
- Agitation or irritability if it is impossible to engage in the behavior.
Most abuse examples are psychological or physical dependence, but there are ways to remedy them. Long poorly known, and especially poorly treated, addictions are now better known to health professionals, who have more means every day to help you fight them effectively. With treatment, professionals can provide assistance:
- For those who smoke and would like to quit smoking,
- For those who are wondering about their alcohol consumption or who would like advice to help an alcoholic loved one,
- For those who are looking for information about psychotropic drugs and would like information about drug addiction, or about the dangers of using drugs such as cannabis, cocaine, heroin or synthetic drugs
- For those who want to understand these new addictions related to digital, such as addictions to video games, gambling, screens (teenagers and dopamine use of social networks) and how to remedy them.
- For those wondering about eating disorders, such as bulimia or anorexia
- For those who have all kinds of repetitive behaviors without being able to help but indulge in them
See a Professional
In a treatment center, the addict will be able to meet with professionals with advice on how to quit addictive habits. Their services are available when you can no longer control your actions with regard to a subject compulsively. They give you advice in a personalized way, via behavioral or drug therapies. View more to see how a professional can help with addiction.